Required gear includes:
- Map of metro area
- Warm Clothing
1. Winter Patrol volunteers shall report in at 1411 Locust Street at 6/7 pm on their assigned days. At that time the night captain shall inquire of the NLEC telephone operator if any emergency calls have come in or if any special assignments have been given. All emergency visits shall be divided among the teams present by the captain and if available, the necessary supplies shall also be distributed (blankets, sandwiches, heaters, etc.). (NOTE: Winter Patrol volunteers are encouraged to bring supplies with them when they come to go out on Winter Patrol as New Life Evangelistic Center does not always have supplies on hand.)
2. Each team will have their assigned area with routine stops (bus stations, hospitals, etc.). This list will grow during the winter so please keep your folder up-to-date and be sure to report to the coordinator any new finds that deserve future visits.
3. Winter Patrol teams shall consist of at least two persons. This is for safety reasons and also so that you can perform your job properly. Ordinarily, three or more persons are too cumbersome for a team unless you are using a very large vehicle, or if you are taking a new member along for training.
4. Be sure to call ahead (314-421-3020) if you have a homeless person to take in for shelter to make certain that there is room for them, and also to alert the overnight staff that you are coming. The housing guest should then be escorted to the door of the shelter.
5. Please understand that some persons have been barred from the shelters for the safety and welfare of all concerned. That is another reason for you to call in before bringing the guest to our doors.
6. A normal night’s Winter Patrol will take you until 12:00 a.m. Please check in at 1411 Locust Street for a final inquiry as to emergency calls that might have come in. (This will also let our staff know that you are signing out for the night). This daily feedback is essential in maintaining an effective Winter Patrol.
7. On extremely cold nights (Below 10 degrees Fahrenheit) be prepared to stay out later than 1200 a.m. Lives may hang in the balance!
8. Know our winter hours. When the temperature drops we reopen for men at 10 or 11pm. know the city’s other winter shelter location and hours. Remember, you are on a rescue mission.
9. Use common sense precautions when approaching persons that you think might be homeless; but remember that if you explain who you are and why you are there, most people will appreciate that you cared enough to stop and talk. When approaching an abandoned building or secluded area, use your flashlight and make a lot of noise! Let everybody in the vicinity know that you are with winter patrol and are there to offer help. That way, someone you might have just inadvertently startled will not take your approach as a threat.
10. Generally, we transport people only to shelters, not to/from the bus station to their home, etc. Politely inform them that you are only allowed to take people to shelters.
11. Don’t be discouraged if some homeless people refuse to come to a shelter, Offer them a sandwich and still try to minister and win their friendship. Later, on an extremely cold night, they might come with you.